He played in the singles final at Wimbledon in 2003. Sixteen years later he figured in the singles final again. He won the first time and lost the second time around. But the fact that he was still around and challenging strongly for the title speaks volumes of the skill and longevity of Roger Federer already acknowledged to be the greatest tennis player of all time. And it was not just another match that he lost but the longest Wimbledon final everlasting all of five hours. That speaks volumes also of the stamina and the fighting spirit of the legendary Swiss who turns 38 in just over three weeks time.
On the other side of the net was a player who is challenging Federer for the title of GOAT. At least that’s what Boris Becker is convinced of. ``Novak is not quite happy yet. He is one of the greatest of all time but he wants to be the greatest of all time’’ Becker a three time singles champion at Wimbledon and Novak Djokovic’s coach from 2013 to 2016 said in an interview shortly after the dramatic five-set match concluded.
Even the dramatic scoreline – 7 – 6, 1 – 6, 7 – 6, 4 – 6, 13 – 12 – does not convey the grandeur of the tennis played by the two giants of modern tennis. It was the first time that the new tie- breaker rule at Wimbledon for the fifth set was applied otherwise it might have spilt over to a second day. The players were obviously evenly matched and this is reflected in the overall record with Djokovic leading 26 – 22.
One of the two semifinalists was Rafael Nadal making it clear that the Big Three were in no hurry to abdicate their places in the top three in the ATP rankings. There was much talk before the tournament commenced as to whether the GenNext of players would halt the dominance of the Big Three. Not only did they not even come close to doing so they put up such a sorry show that there is little doubt that Federer, Djokovic and Nadal will continue to dominate the Grand Slams for an extended period. As it is the three of them have won the last 11 Grand Slam titles between them.
The GenNext quartet of Alexander Zverev, Stephanos Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem and Kevin Anderson all made early exits at Wimbledon and it is clear that the total number of Grand Slams titles won by the Big Three – 54 – will just keep increasing. But one major interest will now centre round who will win most number of Grand Slams. At the moment Federer (20) is leading the bunch closely followed by Nadal (18) and Djokovic (16). The race is on.
Ahead of their IPL 2020 opener against SRH on Monday, the Royal Challengers Bangalore players were seen wearing jerseys in training which had the message ‘My Covid heroes’ written on the backside of it.
The franchise later announced that they'll be wearing the same, throughout the season during training sessions to celebrate everyone who have worked towards “making the world a better place” throughout the ongoing pandemic.
The Royal Challengers wore the MY COVID HEROES jersey during practice yesterday, to pay tribute to all the REAL CHALLENGERS who have strived to make the world a better place during the pandemic! 🙌🏻🙌🏻— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) September 20, 2020
(1/2)#PlayBold #IPL2020 #WeAreChallengers #MyCovidHeroes #Dream11IPL pic.twitter.com/TLW7IiNSmq
In an interview before the match, RCB star player AB de Villiers was asked about the same, and he believes that it's a great initiative by the franchise to honour the frontline warriors.
My Covid Heroes: Over the past few days we’ve been bringing stories of Real Challengers who’ve inspired us. To pay homage to every Covid Hero out there, RCB has decided to sport ‘My Covid Heroes’ jersey throughout the Dream 11 IPL#PlayBold #IPL2020 #WeAreChallengers #Dream11IPL pic.twitter.com/y7Xbs69cQ1— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) September 21, 2020
On being asked about the teams prospects for the ongoing season, De Villiers said: “Have done some fantastic work behind the scenes and we are very well prepared and our net session and training session have been very intense. It’s about trusting each other and executing all the hard work we have put in.”
Days before the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, Ali Khan's dream of playing in the cash-lucrative league got fulfilled.
The American pace sensation was roped in by the Kolkata Knight Riders as the direct replacement of bowler Harry Gurney.
Ali's surprise selection came after impressing during the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season, where he plied his trade for the Trinbago Knight Riders. He picked up eight wickets from eight matches with and an economy of 7.43.
Ali has won two of the last three CPL editions and he will be the first player to play in the IPL.
Acording to reports, Ali was also in KKR's radar, last year, after his solid performances in the 2018 Global T20 Canada with the Winnipeg Hawks. He was initially scouted by Windies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo.
Just before their semi-final game against the Jamaica Tallawahs, the TKR squad had gathered for a team dinner when Khan came to know about the start of his journey with the Kolkata franchise.
“As soon as everyone sat in their seats, [Knight Riders coach] Brendon McCullum welcomed everyone to dinner and then he said, ‘A man from the USA will be joining us in Kolkata Knight Riders. I want to take this opportunity to announce that…’,” said Khan as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
Ali said that he started crying when Brendon made the announcement. He also revealed that the KKR coach gave him a big hug and said: "You deserve it".
Ahead of their opening fixture against MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals' skipper Steve Smith has been declared fit to play, having passed his concussion tests.
Smith has missed three ODIs against England in the UK due to a concussion issue, and there were doubts whether he will be fit to feature in Royals’ season opener.
Andrew McDonald, RR's head coach, confirmed that Smith is available for selection against CSK.
“Fantastic news that Steve is available. It’s fantastic especially on the back of some setbacks back in the UK. It’s obviously great to have your skipper available for the first game as I’ve said before we are in really good hands. In terms of the rest of the squad, we couldn’t be happier with their preparation. We have got what we needed, having been here nice and early to get our preparation going on the back of the long lay-off,” McDonald said in a RR's virtual press release
“We have got the bases covered and have some really good depth in the squad and really looking forward to seeing what it looks like in a real competitive match against CSK. They had a fantastic first game, they’re one game into the tournament which is a slight advantage when you come out against the team that’s already played and performed. So, we’ll definitely have our work cut out and really looking forward to what our guys can bring to the table and we’re really excited about what the journey presents,” he added.
Smith, meanwhile, revealed that he is eager to get back to action, having missed the ODI series against England.
The 31-year-old, Smith, is one of the four main overseas players in the team alongside English trio of Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.
Jofra is expected to be in the playing XI while both are Buttler and Stokes will play no part in the game. Buttler is serving a 6-day quarantine period with his family while Stokes has not yet arrived in UAE.
The Indian Premier League 2020 campaign finally went up and running after Delhi Capitals won a thrilling Super over against the KXIP on Sunday.
After being put out to bat first, DC suffered a massive top-order collapse, only for Marcus Stoinis to save the blushes with a match-deciding half-century.
In their reply, KXIP's openers couldn't better their counterparts but Mayank Agarwal's knock of 89 turned the game in their favour. However, the match forced to Super over after KXIP failed to score 12 runs in the final over.
In the super-over, DC's Kagiso Rabada showcased his class and restricted KXIP to a meagre 3-run target. DC achieved the target with four balls to spare.
However, KXIP's Kiwi all-rounder, Jimmy Neesham, couldn't believe that his team lost the Super over and posted a funny reaction on Twitter. Neesham is very famous for his social media banter.
Interestingly, Neesham was part of New Zealand's team which lost the 2019 World Cup final to England, which went all the way through to the Super over.
The BlackCaps haven’t been lucky, especially in Super Overs. They had also lost two back-to-back T20I's against India in the tie-breaker earlier in 2020.
Neesham posted a gif of famous American comedian/actor, Jim Carey, to express his feelings after losing the Super over. “Oh come on!” said Carey in the gif.
In their second match, Punjab will lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore on September 24.
Ambati Rayudu was at his ruthless best as Chennai Super Kings outclassed Mumbai Indians on the opening day of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.
He smashed 71 runs off just 48 balls, which proved substantial to guide his team to a famous win over their eternal rivals.
Rayudu knock was heavily appreciated by fans, who flooded the social media with memes targeting former BCCI selector MSK Prasad, who ignored the former during last year's World Cup squad selection.
Former Australian cricketer and Rayudu's current CSK teammate, Shane Watson, believes that Indian selection panel made a big mistake by not picking Rayudu in the World Cup held last year.
“He an incredibly talented batsman and I think so it was a loss for the Indian ODI team for not picking him in the World Cup squad,” Watson said in a YouTube show named The Debrief.
“He batted incredibly well with scoring options all over the ground,” the Aussie veteran added.
Rayudu was expected to take the crucial number 4 spot, but MSK Prasad decided to pick all-rounder Vijay Shankar, describing the latter as a 'three-dimensional player'.
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra posted a cryptic tweet to MSK Prasad, following Rayudu's match-winning knock on Saturday.
"Might not be a 3D player but still fairly efficient at the one dimension he has....top knock Ambati Rayudu," Chopra tweeted.
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